Postflop Poker: A Turn Bet With Many Possible Meanings
Recently LATB! singled out an interesting $5/$5 game hand in part because it featured a bold river bluff, although the hand also involved a multi-purpose turn bet that importantly set the stage for the bluff.
The hand began with several players limping in, then Luda Chris picking up in the big blind and choosing to raise big to $235. As commentators Dan Zack and Wayne Chiang point out, the fact that Luda Chris had been giving a lot of action led to two players calling the big raise, so there were three seeing the flop come .
When checked to Luda Chris continued for $535 and only Dave called holding for second pair. Then when Luda Chris checked following the turn, Dave made a half-pot bet of $965 that potentially served several purposes.
The bet could potentially be regarded as a value bet, made by a player thinking he had the best hand who was desirous to solicit a call from an opponent holding worse. By the same token, such a bet could serve to offer protection versus someone with a better club flush draw than Dave's (which Luda Chris happened to have).
The bet could also be a semi-bluff, given that Dave himself had a flush draw. And, as the commentators note, it could additionally be considered a blocking bet designed to set the price going forward and perhaps dissuade Luda Chris from leading the river, thus enabling Dave to get to a cheaper showdown.
Luda Chris called the turn bet to bring the pot up to $3,770, then actually led for $1,500 after the river. That's when Dave went all in for $6,505 — a bet that only meant one thing, a bluff.
Of course, Dave's opponent didn't know he was bluffing, thus leading to the question that supplied the video's title: "Can Luda Chris Make This Call?" Take a look:
While it's impossible to know exactly the players' thought processes, uncertainty regarding the many possible meanings of the turn bet undoubtedly played a factor in enabling the river bluff to succeed.